Innova 3100 Review – The Original Unit, Still A Great Choice.

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Review of: Innova 3100

Product Type: Handheld Scanner

Reviewed by: Alex Meyer

Quality of Build

Value For Money

Ease of Use

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Resets lights
  • Reliable

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't work on all cars
  • Communication issues
  • Electrical problems

This handy little device is great for looking at domestic or foreign vehicles made since 1996. It allows you to view codes that represent problems in your vehicle and either fix or reset them.

That way, you know exactly what the problem is, and you won't need to spend money with a mechanic unless absolutely needed.

Innova 3100 - Our review

Innova 3100 Review

  • Review body
  • pros & cons
  • resources

Look and Feel

This scanner has the classic Innova look and feel. It is a handheld device which is designed to be held in the palm of on hand and the buttons pressed by the same hand.

There are nine buttons to use, which is more than many rival units. They are also placed so that you truly can use this device with one hand.

The screen is small, but there is enough detail displayed to make this an effective tool in helping to diagnose problems.


This device connects to your vehicle by a short cable. The cable also provides a power source from the battery, so there is no need to recharge the device or purchase additional batteries.


You can check on such things as ABS codes, emissions, engine codes, repair solutions, battery status, alternator status, and much more.

When the details are displayed, the small screen means that the basic information is displayed instead of the screen being cluttered by too much info-rich data.

This makes diagnosis easy and effective even for the most amateur of car enthusiasts.

When you do run diagnostics, the information displayed is not overwhelming for the novice car repairman, but, at the same time, it is not so basic that professional technicians will not be able to use the device.

The device also comes with the RepairSolutions program to help you better diagnose your vehicle.

The freeze-frame feature helps you to view the engine condition better.

This helps you to diagnose a check engine light better while checking the coolant temperature, fuel trim, and other common areas of the engine.

For more advanced users, there are a variety of advanced features which you can use alongside the basic features.

This helps those who are in the business of repairing vehicles to easily diagnose and repair those problems which vehicle owners cannot repair themselves.

This tool comes with a bunch of features to make the whole experience more user friendly.

The menus are easy to navigate, there is a battery backup should you not be able to get any power from the engine, the casing is durable to protect the device, and the scanner is efficient, giving you the data you need without having to wait a long time for it.


The addition of the RepairSolutions program means that with a little knowledge and effort you can fix many common car problems by yourself.

This may take up a little of your time, but it will save you a lot of money on professionals diagnostics and repairs.

The battery test feature will tell you exactly the battery life of your vehicle battery.

This is a great piece of information to know and allows you to change the battery before it gets too low or dies.

If your battery is low and cold weather hits, you may not be able to start your vehicle.

This feature will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.


While this scanner is relatively easy to use, there is a lack of an instruction manual.

Most users will be able to make their way through the menus and options, but for more novice users, you may have to go online to find out exactly how to use your scanner before you can run the diagnostics.

After paying for the device, which is on the cheaper end of the scale, there is a subscription fee which may put many people off.

Depending on the features you wish to access, this could be as much as $30 per year.

You will still spend less than having a mechanic diagnose your vehicle, but you may end up paying more than initially more expensive scanners.



This is a great device which can be used by both novice car enthusiasts and mechanics.

It is one which can be used to diagnose a single car as well as multiple cars, and there is a good balance between basic data and more professional, comprehensive information.

The lack of instruction manual is no big deal but where users may be put off is with the subscription fee.

Nobody wants to pay more money after they have bought their scanner.

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Innova 3100
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